Weekend includes parades, boat show and symphony performance

Eight Mardi Gras parades roll this weekend – seven on Saturday and one on Sunday – all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and you’ll find a boat show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.

Also this weekend, the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra presents “Strings on Fire” at the Saenger Theater, Tony Bennett performs at the Beau Rivage, and “Simply the Best,” a Tina Turner tribute group, will be on stage at Margaritaville.

For details on these events and others, courtesy of listings from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, click here.

Carnival fencing going up downtown

With Fat Tuesday now less than two weeks away, Biloxi Public Works crews are well into their Mardi Gras prep mode.

Last week, reviewing stands were erected at City Hall, and this week, crews are installing protective fencing at key locations along U.S. 90 and the 2.7-mile downtown parade route.

In all, 14,000 feet of orange fencing will be installed, held up by 265 rebar posts and 5,000 zip ties. In addition, between now and March 4 (also known as Mardi Gras Day this year), you’ll see 2,300 steel barricades in place, 75 wooden barricades, 690 traffic cones, 8,000 feet of yellow caution tape, and 25 plastic barricades, known as K-rails.

And, of course, on Mardi Gras Day, added to the mix will be anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000 to 100,000 people, depending on who’s counting.

Children’s parade: There’s still time for you to sign up your youngsters for the annual Children’s Mardi Gras Walking Parade. To see a story about the parade, with link to a free registration form and the parade route, click here.

The adult route: To see the route for the Gulf Coast Carnival and Neptune parades, click here.

A word about Fat Tuesday travel: Two words actually: Arrive early. The city’s parade prep team has announced that I-110 south of Division Street will be closing at 11 a.m. on Mardi Gras Day, and the section of U.S. 90 from east of Main Street to the Biloxi City Cemetery will be limited to two lanes of two-way traffic beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Economic development update: Downtown and elsewhere

The proposed downtown baseball stadium is continuing to drive interest in commercial development, and there’s more going on throughout the city.

To read this week’s report from the director of the Community Development Department, click here.

DRC agenda: To see the agenda for next week’s Development Review Committee meeting, click here.

Council to get status report on infrastructure work

Mayor A.J. Holloway has called a special meeting for Tuesday at 11 a.m. so City Council members can be briefed on progress with the city’s infrastructure program, and Tuesday afternoon they will be asked to renew the infrastructure management contract with the firm HNTB.

And on the agenda for Tuesday afternoon City Council meeting: a measure to allow the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum and other groups to use the wood from trees that would be removed from the downtown stadium site; and a measure to approve the city’s share of the cost of a new Lorraine Road bridge.

To see the council’s agendas, click here.

News and notes

Webcasting: On this week’s City Desk webcast, Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols lets you know the next steps on the proposed downtown baseball stadium, and Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney discusses lessons learned from this week’s training exercise, the rich history of the department, and what’s new with the city’s newest fire truck. To listen to the 17-minute program, recorded this morning, click here.

Transit changes: Coast Transit today announced its new rate structure and reductions in Biloxi service. To see the notice from CTA, click here.

A helping hand, please: Employees in the Biloxi Public Works Department are seeking help for an upcoming fish fry to help defray the medical costs of Robert Gaillet, son of Public Works Director Dan Gaillet. The accomplished 17-year-old student was seriously injured in a car accident in November.